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Apple Daily: ‘Leaked’ iPhone 6c Photos; Obligatory Apple Watch Try-Ons; Q2 Earnings Date

In today’s Apple Daily, photos of the recently rumored “iPhone 6c” are already making their way across the Internet. In other news, you’ll apparently have to sign up for a try-on reservation if you expect to buy an Apple Watch in-store, and even then you might have to wait for it. Also, Apple announced the date of its next earnings call.

Chinese Supplier ‘Leaks’ Photos of Rumored ‘iPhone 6c’

Well, that didn’t take long. Only a few days after word dropped that Apple might be releasing a smaller, low-cost “iPhone 6c” model later this year, a Chinese parts supplier by the name of Future Supplier (via Nowhereelse.fr) already has some allegedly leaked photos of the device. By and large, it looks like what you’d expect — a more modern take on the iPhone 5c. But it’s not that much more modern, and indeed, by eyeball estimates alone, it’s thought to sport another 4-inch screen.

Subtle details in the design even suggest that the device won’t be that different from the iPhone 5s internally. For one, it features the same type of LED flash design as the 5s, and for another, the device features the same type of speaker grill. Although it seems a shame to release a “new” phone with specs that might be as many as two generations old, the move would be well in line with Apple’s rumored intentions to sell the device for even less than the iPhone 5c sold for in 2013.

Try-On Reservations Apparently Mandatory for Buying an Apple Watch In-Store

A common thread running through all of the rumors and news about the Apple Watch that we’ve heard so far is that buyers will have to sign up for presentations in order to handle the device. If you want to try on one of the more “normal” versions, for instance, you’ll have up to 15 minutes to try it out in the presence of an Apple employee; if you want to try out the mega-expensive Apple Watch Edition, you’ll reportedly get 30 minutes.

But according to “leaked” documentation obtained by MacRumors, though, that’s not mere perception, nor is it a mere nod to Apple’s customer service. Apparently, if you’re at all interested in getting one of the devices, you’ll have to sign up for “Product Reservations.” Walk-in purchases, it seems, are currently being discouraged.

“If a customer walks in and wants to purchase a watch, offer the option to try on a watch,” the documentation reportedly says. “Then help them place an order online or through the Apple Store app.”

The upshot of this is that the appointment to try on the device does not necessarily mean you’ll get to walk out with a watch, even after the official April 24 release date.

Apple to Announce Q2 2015 Earnings Results on April 27

Apple today updated its investor relations page to report April 27 as the date of its earnings call for the second quarter of 2015, which means we’ll finally get to learn it Apple managed to sustain the massive, record-breaking sales it achieved in the first quarter.

The call itself will take place at 2:00 p.m. PST, but as is standard with Apple, the earnings report itself will likely be available at around 1:30 p.m. In its first earnings call for the year, Apple reported that it expected to reach between to billion in revenue for the second quarter, which equates into a gross margin of approximately 39 percent.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: Cook Remembers Jobs; 2014 iOS Sales; Samsung iPhone Memory

Apple fans are once again remembering the life and times of Steve Jobs today on what would have been the 60th birthday of the legendary co-founder. In our Tuesday edition of Apple Daily, we’ll find out how current CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that date, along with news that Samsung may still be in the iPhone memory game, the latest Apple acquisition, and how much of the smartphone market iOS and Android have gobbled up to date.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Commemorates Steve Jobs’s 60th Birthday

It’s been just over four years since the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, but his predecessor certainly hasn’t forgotten the influential legacy of the man who brought him into the Cupertino fold. On Tuesday morning, current CEO Tim Cook started his day with a tweet acknowledging Jobs’ birthday on February 24.

Steve Jobs holds Apple

“Remembering Steve, who would have turned 60 today,” Cook wrote, capped off by a quote from his former mentor: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Although Cook’s influence has changed many things at Apple over the last four years, there’s little doubt that the executive team and the iPhone maker’s global workforce continue to live by those words. (For more Steve Jobs quotes, click here.)

Next-Gen iPhone Will Mostly Use Samsung Memory Chips

The Korea Times reported late Monday that Samsung Electronics appears to still be very much in the Apple manufacturing game, despite rumors of an icier relationship between the two patent foes. An unnamed industry official claims Samsung will provide “at least half” of the DRAM chips needed for this year’s presumed iPhone 6S, and the door appears to be open for Apple to increase that amount, should it become necessary. Samsung will also reportedly provide mobile processors for the same device, which is widely expected to arrive this fall.

Samsung mobile memory chips

Apple Acquires Audio Plug-In Developer Camel Audio

Apple’s music-centric software GarageBand and Logic Pro X could become a lot more powerful in the future, thanks to Cupertino’s acquisition of music software plug-in maker Camel Audio. According to The Loop, the creators of Alchemy quietly closed their doors back on January 8, removing all products for purchase and limiting email and download support for previous purchases.

Camel Audio - Alchemy

As noted by MacRumors, Camel Audio’s corporate registry now points to Apple’s London address at 100 New Bridge Street, while the company’s only director is listed as Heather Joy Morrison, one of Cupertino’s fleet of attorneys. An Apple spokesperson confirmed the acquisition to The Loop in their typically standard way: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

iOS, Android Now Dominate 96.3 Percent of Smartphone Market

Poor Microsoft and BlackBerry: The latest quarterly smartphone data from IDC is now available, and it shows Apple and Google absolutely dominating the worldwide market with 96.3 percent of shipments made during the fourth quarter of last year, a slight increase from 95.6 percent during the same quarter in 2013.

iPhone hovers over Earth

Unfortunately, Android accounted for 76.6 percent of all smartphones sold, but considering how few iPhone models Apple actually has in the lineup, 19.7 percent is nothing to sneeze at — especially when it coincides with 46.1 percent year-over-year growth. (By comparison, Windows Phone holds a meager 2.8 percent share, while BlackBerry slipped into near-total irrelevance with 0.4 percent. Ouch!)

IDC released its calendar year 2014 data as well, painting very much the same picture, with iOS and Android again responsible for a whopping 96.3 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

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Apple Daily: Activation Lock Curbs Thefts, iPhone 6 Plus Data Usage, Aperture Removal

The numbers are in, and it appears that Apple’s Activation Lock has been massively successful in curbing the tide of iPhone thefts in three major cities. In addition, iPhone 6 Plus owners reportedly use a lot more data than their iPhone 6 counterparts, and Apple is apparently planning to pull Aperture for good once Photos for Mac launches later this year.

Activation Lock Leads to Plummeting iPhone Thefts in Three Major Cities

Apple introduced Activation Lock for iOS 7 as a means of combating a meteoric rise in iPhone thefts, and, according to officials in London and the two U.S. cities that did the most to call attention to the problem, it’s working extraordinarily well. According to Reuters, reports of stolen iPhones have fallen 25 percent in New York, 40 percent in San Francisco, and an impressive 50 percent in London.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, New York state attorney Eric Schneiderman, and London Mayor Boris Johnson all have made names for themselves lobbying for “kill switches” on smartphones to prevent such thefts, and all praised Activation Lock upon its release in 2013. And partially thanks to their efforts, such theft prevention features are about to become law. By July 2015, according to a law passed by the California state legislature, all smartphones must have such theft-prevention measures built in before they can be sold in the home state of both Google and Apple.

The number for San Francisco has slightly improved since December, when we reported that Activation Lock had decreased iPhone thefts there by 38 percent.

iPhone 6 Plus Owners Consume Twice As Much Data As iPhone 6 Owners

Screen size isn’t the only major difference between the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus: According to a new PDF report from Citrix, owners of the iPhone 6 Plus on average use twice as much data as owners of the smaller iPhone 6. The report also shares other interesting tidbits, such as how all that data equates into around 10 times more data than was commonly used on the older and slower 3.5-inch iPhone 3GS.

Citrix believes the large disparity suggests that owners of iPhone 6 Plus units are using their phones more like tablets, and thus using them for data-intensive activities such as streaming movies more often than they would for a previous iPhone.

Among other things, the report reveals that iOS remains the dominant operating system in enterprise. iOS accounts for 67 percent of phones in enterprise, while Android commands 27 percent and Windows Mobile accounts for 7 percent. Interestingly enough, Windows Mobile jumped a full five percentage points from last year—a rise that cut into both Apple and Android’s market shares.

Apple to Remove Aperture from Apple Store After Photos for OS X Release

A recent update to the official Aperture page confirmed the fears of many a photo enthusiast — yes, the arrival of Photos for OS X means that Aperture will be removed from the App Store once the new app arrives. On the bright side, anyone who’s purchased the software prior to its removal will still be able to download it via the “Purchases” tab, but keep in mind that Apple already said back in June that there would be no new development on Aperture in the future.

The announcement came directly on the heels of Photos for OS X’s inclusion in the beta for OS X 10.10.3. It’s currently not known when the update will go live, but it could be a while yet as Apple plans to host a public beta for the software before turning it out in the wild. In the meantime, now’s your opportunity to pick up Aperture before it’s gone for good.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: iOS 8.2 in March, HTC Rap Battle with Apple, PonoPlayer vs. iPhone

Yo, HTC raps … apparently. In today’s Apple Daily, watch as the Taiwanese smartphone maker starts a rap battle with Apple and Samsung. Elsewhere, listeners seem to prefer the iPhone over Neil Young’s ambitious PonoPlayer, and we could see iOS 8.2 sooner than expected.

Apple Watch-Focused iOS 8.2 May Launch Ahead of Apple Watch Itself

Since iOS 8.2 contains Apple Watch support and the WatchKit API, it’s generally been thought that the two would launch at the same time. But that just isn’t so, according to sources who spoke with BGR. According to them, we’ll see it in March, and thus anywhere from a week to a full month ahead of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s stated April launch date for the Apple Watch.

All the same, there are signs that there’s some truth to the rumor, as Apple recently started asking key app developers to have their apps ready by mid-February, prompting speculation that Apple will hold a big media event regarding the Apple Watch in March. That, or perhaps an earlier launch than Tim Cook’s vague “April” launch window would have us believe.

 

HTC Targets Apple, Samsung in Rap Video

Samsung’s well known for attempting to bash Apple through its many television ads, but at least the Korean tech giant has the sense to bring a touch of class (however small) to the business at hand. Taiwanese smartphone developer HTC, however, is having none of that.

Apparently wanting a rapper of its own considering Dr. Dre’s affiliation with Apple and Jay-Z’s association with Samsung, the smartphone maker enlisted the skills of Greg Carr (or “Doc G”) and David Bruce to rap about how HTC’s phones are better than iPhones and Galaxies.

Let’s just say the final product, called “Hold the Crown,” probably could have been better. Throughout the whole video, poor saps dressed as iPhones and Galaxies put on a performance that recalls the left shark from the Super Bowl, and the rappers take verbal shots at Apple and Samsung. To Apple: “Your chip is slower, But you’ll never touch our BoomSound.” Ouch. To Samsung: “More than a few clowns stole what we originated, we own the universe, your Galaxy is overrated.” Yeesh.

Oh, and there’s even an interview with the rappers. You can check out the full lyrics over at Engadget.

 

iPhone Trumps Neil Young’s PonoPlayer in Blind Music Trials

Remember the PonoPlayer? Singer Neil Young unveiled the 9 Kickstarter-funded device just under a year ago, believing that its gigantic, supposedly lossless files would deliver a far better audio experience than Apple’s iPod and iPhone owing to their reliance on smaller sound files.

Not so, claims Yahoo Tech‘s David Pogue (via AppleInsider), a former musician who had a chance to try out Young’s Toblerone-shaped audio device. According to Pogue, the audio files from the PonoPlayer sounded no different than high-quality MP3s played on an iPhone. Indeed, Pogue found that listeners actually preferred the iPhone’s sound over the PonoPlayer’s in a series of blind trials comparing the new audio player and Apple’s smartphone.

“Pono’s statement that ‘Everyone who’s ever heard PonoMusic will tell you that the difference is surprising and dramatic’ is baloney,” Pogue said. “When conducting the test with today’s modern music files, I couldn’t find even one person who heard a dramatic difference.”

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: ‘Leaked’ 12-Inch MacBook Air, China and Apple, iPhone Activations

It wouldn’t be Friday without a juicy Apple leak or rumor, and, as if on cue, photos of the display and lid of the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air supposedly leaked today. In other news, Tim Cook reportedly agreed to let Chinese officials check Apple products for security flaws, and iPhones accounted for precisely half of all phone activations in the U.S. during the last quarter.

‘Leaked’ Photos Reportedly Show Parts from 12-Inch MacBook Air

Just in time for weekend speculation fun, a set of photos have popped up on iFanr purporting to show the lid and display for the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air. The photos are noticeably less fuzzy than the usual leaked fare, and they helpfully show the parts stacked alongside a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a 9.7-inch iPad for comparison.

There’s some doubt about the authenticity of the photos, however, in that they show that the traditional backlit Apple logo for MacBooks has been traded out for the polished metal logo common to iPads. For its part, iFanr believes Apple might have chucked the widely beloved backlit Apple in favor of making the unit ever so slightly thinner.

Also missing are the gray bezels common to most new MacBook Air models, which means that Apple might be extending the glass to the edges of the unit as seen with the MacBook Pro. That sounds lovely, but it does clash with an earlier rumor that the device would have the familiar gray bezels. Of course, there’s always a good chance that Apple simply changed its mind.

Tim Cook Reportedly Agrees to Let China Search Products for Security Flaws

China’s massive market means a lot to Apple—so much, in fact, that Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly agreed to let the country’s officials inspect its products for security flaws, according to The Beijing News (via MacRumors). The officials are supposedly interested in finding “back doors” that would grant the Cupertino company (or anyone else, for that matter) access to private data stored in the units.


Calligraphy exhibit for the upcoming Apple Store in Hangzhou, China.

Lu Wei, director of China’s State Internet Information Office, had expressed concerns last year that Apple might be afforded a window into Chinese state secrets through its devices. Cook assured Wei that this was not the case in a well-publicized visit, but the official apparently wanted to check out the products for himself.

The danger of such a decision is that it might reveal some secrets about how Apple designs its own software, which could in turn lead to leaked knowledge regarding how to exploit the vulnerabilities. But if it means staying in China’s billion-strong market, that’s a chance that Cook’s apparently willing to take.

Half of All Phones Activated in Q4 2014 Were iPhones

Just in case you needed any more proof that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are wildly popular, consider the latest report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partner, which states that Apple accounted for half of all phone activations in the United States for Q4 2014 (via AppleInsider).

“Apple had virtually double the sales of Samsung, and five times that of LG. No other brand accounted for as much as 5% of US sales,” says Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder of CIRP.

Keep in mind that, at 500, the data sampling is quite small for reaching such sweeping conclusions, and that 86 percent of activations came from consumers who’d upgraded from an earlier iPhone. Still, Apple has certainly accomplished a major feat here, and impressively enough, CIRP reports that 25 percent of new iPhone users were former Samsung users and that 15 percent came from LG phones.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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